Dearly beloved, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ is here again. The holy season of Christmas is a time we are called to reflect on the virtue of humility taught by the incarnation of the Son of God. We read that even though he is God, Jesus did not count equality with God, a thing to be grasped, he humbled himself and became obedient till death. Phil. 2:5-11. Our celebration, therefore, should reflect a genuine struggle at conquering pride and evil in the world.

In this festive period, I encourage you all to pay attention to the poor and the needy around you. The best gift you can give to Christ at this time is the help you render to the vulnerable and the less privileged ones who have no one to care for them, who have no place to call home, who live life daily without hope. Visits to the orphanages, the prisons and the like are recommended to us. Let us bring smiles to their faces and let them feel the love and warmth of God that Christmas represents.

Let us pray for peace in our country Nigeria. Let us pray for an end to the spate of kidnappings and killings in our land and for the safe release of those held in bondage by kidnappers. Let us pray for the unborn who have been killed through abortion; for pardon for their parents and change of heart. Let us pray for the victims of domestic violence for healing and mutual love.

May the joy of this holy season fill your hearts and bring you renewed hope in the salvation brought by the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer.

God bless you all.

+ G. O. Abegunrin

Archbishop of Ibadan.

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